Jean Houghton Named President

October 16, 2017

Following an extensive national search, the Aim Higher Foundation is proud to announce that its Board of Directors has selected Jean Houghton as the organization’s new President. Ms. Houghton will assume leadership of the foundation on November 6, 2017.

“Jean is a proven leader who brings an impressive track record of success at every stage of her career,” said Karen Rauenhorst, chair of the Aim Higher Foundation board. “Her experience and remarkable results-oriented approach to leadership come to our mission at a crucial time.”

“Each year, we see more and more families who seek the benefits of, but cannot access, a Catholic school for their children. Jean has both the vision and the hands-on ability to drive and grow our efforts to ensure that every family that desires a Catholic education for their children can access a Catholic school. The Board of Directors was thrilled to extend the invitation to welcome her to the Aim Higher Foundation.”

Houghton’s professional career is marked by the growth she has catalyzed. At the McDonald’s Corporation, where she began her career as a Business Consultant, she oversaw more than 1,500 employees at 132 restaurants with a combined, average annual volume of $164 million. She was recognized as one of the top consultants in her region in six of her eight years with the corporation. In the other two, she earned honors as one of the nation’s top consultants.

In her most recent position at Saint Agnes Catholic School in Saint Paul, Houghton played a critical role in the success of a $5.8 million capital campaign and secured lead gifts of more than $18 million for the construction of the school’s new building and auditorium. She began her time at Saint Agnes as a parent volunteer and, in 2008, the school’s leadership invited her to leverage her strategic-thinking and business acumen to strengthen the school’s recruitment and retention efforts. After increasing enrollment by 55% in six years, she took over as Director of Donor Relations in 2012 and later was appointed Director of Advancement.

As President, Houghton will be responsible for all aspects of the foundation, overseeing the strategic advancement, management, and operations of the foundation under the direction and guidance of the Board of Directors. She will also oversee and implement its fundraising initiatives including annual giving, endowments, major gifts, planning, giving, and the marque fundraiser, the Night of Light, which recently raised more than $600,000 in pledges and gifts.

“I am honored to accept this invitation to join the Aim Higher Foundation,” said Houghton. “And I am deeply humbled to serve both this mission and the thousands of children who experience the transformative effects of a Christ-centered education because of the scholarships the foundation provides. I look forward to working with the board, the donors, and the broader community to expand this important work.”

Jean and her husband reside in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood in Saint Paul and are parishioners of Saint Agnes Catholic Church. Their three grown children all attended Catholic schools.

About the Aim Higher Foundation:
The Aim Higher Foundation is an independently operated, non-profit organization committed exclusively to the betterment of children through Catholic schools in the 12-county Twin Cities metro area. Since 2012, the foundation has provided scholarships to more than 4,300 children—worth more than $3 million—to attend Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.